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Getting a Sticky Ride Number off of the Helmet

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Getting a Sticky Ride Number off of the Helmet

Old 02-17-20, 04:51 PM
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SpeedyBlueBiker
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Getting a Sticky Ride Number off of the Helmet

As the title says, "Getting a Sticky Ride Number off of the Helmet" without taking the helmet paint off as well. It's one of those ride numbers that they give you and ask you to put on your helmet. It's very adhesive and I don't want to take the paint off as I try to remove it. I've already peeled as much of the sticker off as I can. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-17-20, 04:53 PM
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Heat the sticker with a hair dryer and peel it off.
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Old 02-17-20, 05:03 PM
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Get an old washcloth good and damp, set it over the sticker and let it sit for an hour. You’ll be able to rub it off with your thumb.
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Old 02-17-20, 05:16 PM
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Your helmet is painted?
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Old 02-17-20, 06:40 PM
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Smear it with cooking oil or peanut butter; let it sit overnight, and clean it off with a warm, soapy rag.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:15 PM
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Corner hard, like *REALLY* hard, and the road will take that silly digit right off yer noggin in no time flat! And, you got to go for a ride whilst getting a chore checked off your list. Bonus.
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Old 02-17-20, 09:20 PM
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I like to use heat from a hair dryer or heat gun cautiously. Peel the sticker off when its warm enough and clean off any glue residue with WD40.
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Old 02-17-20, 10:40 PM
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I like using thin guitar picks (such as Dunlop nylon 0.73mm since that's what I have around) for peeling off stickers. The sharp edge is really good at getting under the edge of the sticker, even if you've ripped it. Goo Gone works to remove the leftover adhesive, then rubbing alcohol does a good job of cleaning that up. Good luck!
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Old 02-17-20, 11:06 PM
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Try some Simple Green all purpose cleaner.
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Old 02-18-20, 04:53 AM
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Goo Gone. Used it on my helmets and other stuff to remove stickers. No problems.

Yup, some helmets are painted. POC says owners should expect some fading of their helmet colors with age and sun exposure because POC uses "environmentally friendly" paints that aren't as UV resistant. That'll probably surprise some owners of those pricey helmets.
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Old 02-18-20, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Goo Gone. Used it on my helmets and other stuff to remove stickers. No problems.

Yup, some helmets are painted. POC says owners should expect some fading of their helmet colors with age and sun exposure because POC uses "environmentally friendly" paints that aren't as UV resistant. That'll probably surprise some owners of those pricey helmets.
I always assumed that the paint/ink was on the inside of a clear plastic shell. Is that wrong?
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Old 02-18-20, 07:22 AM
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Methyl ethyl ketone? (MEK)
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Old 02-18-20, 07:29 AM
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TNT should work.
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Old 02-18-20, 07:59 AM
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Put a more amusing sticker over it.
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Old 02-18-20, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I always assumed that the paint/ink was on the inside of a clear plastic shell. Is that wrong?
It's not wrong.

What is wrong is some of the suggestions here for cleaning a ride number sticker off a bicycle helmet.

Best advice is proactive, don't leave a ride number on your bike helmet for long. When the ride is done, simply remove the number. The sooner you take it off, the easier the job.

TWO NOPES! Don't use a hair dryer, ABSOLUTELY don't use WD-40. (Three nopes - MEK, really? Really, no organic solvents, ok?)

As much as possible, just warm water (the only approved inorganic solvent for cleaning your helmet), a soft cloth, and patience. If you still are struggling, some MILD ph-neutral soap may or may not help, depending on the adhesive. As a last resort, a small and careful application of goo gone on the outside hard plastic shell only.

Finally, avoid fighting with any sticker stuck on the EPS. (If you have any sticker residue on the EPS, just leave it. Put your sticker on more carefully next time.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 02-18-20 at 09:21 AM. Reason: MEK? Are you kidding?
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Old 02-18-20, 08:28 AM
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Or don't put it on to begin with.

It's very Freddy.
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Old 02-18-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
It's not wrong.

What is wrong is some of the suggestions here for cleaning a ride number sticker off a bicycle helmet.

Best advice is proactive, don't leave a ride number on your bike helmet for long. When the ride is done, simply remove the number. The sooner you take it off, the easier the job.

TWO NOPES! Don't use a hair dryer, ABSOLUTELY don't use WD-40.

As much as possible, just warm water, a soft cloth, and patience. If you still are struggling, some MILD ph-neutral soap may or may not help, depending on the adhesive. As a last resort, a small and careful application of goo gone on the outside hard plastic shell only.

Finally, avoid the EPS. (If you have any sticker residue on the EPS, just leave it. Put your sticker on more carefully next time.)

-mr. bill

I was wondering about that. Some of these suggestions sound like interesting experiments in chemical and temperature interactions with helmet materials, but nothing I'd want to bet my noggin on.
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Old 02-18-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Or don't put it on to begin with.

It's very Freddy.

Just put the sticker on your forehead. Very punk.
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Old 02-18-20, 08:40 AM
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Ok, now for a more direct answer.

Find a nurse, any type will do. Ask her/him to bring you some adhesive remover. It comes in single packs like an alcohol swab, it's citrusey and a little oily. It works on paper thin skin, it'll work on the shell of a helmet.

Avoid the foam, that's why you should use the tiny swab from the hospital only. Foam is fragile and reactive. I've melted foam with chemicals a few times. It's not instant but it does melt. I don't have a MSDS for styrofoam in front of me but I'd be inclined to say about anything will melt it. Solvent, weak acid, weak base, detergent, I'm pretty sure it would all cause damage to styrofoam.

Ever wonder why shell-less helmets don't exist anymore? Sub 6 was cool but didn't live long.

Have you tried your fingernails?
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Old 02-18-20, 08:47 AM
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After peeling the paper off, "tack" off remaining adhesive by patting it with a stronger sticky tape such as duct tape or clear packaging tape. This works best if done before applying any liquids or solvents.

The instructions that came with some of my helmets are very specific in saying never apply any stickers, paint, solvent, chemicals, heat, etc., to the shell or foam, since some chemicals can weaken the plastic. I'm surprised the ride promoters would expect you to put their number sticker on your helmet.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Just put the sticker on your forehead. Very punk.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
Ask her/him to bring you some adhesive remover. It comes in single packs like an alcohol swab, it's citrusey and a little oily. It works on paper thin skin, it'll work on the shell of a helmet.
Yeah, *NORMALLY* the advise is that if it's safe on skin it's fine for a helmet works, but....

First exception is that some hair products and some sunscreen products may not be good for your helmet. (Hell, they may not be good for you either, but....)

Second, this is bikeforums, where some people are comfortable with putting products on their skin that they, er, shouldn't. (See various how to clean hands threads.)

Originally Posted by CroMo Mike View Post
I'm surprised the ride promoters would expect you to put their number sticker on your helmet.
It's quite common on larger rides - both competitive and charity. For two reasons.

One, less important, it often helps photographers match up with riders.

Two, more important, while most rides ask you to carry id, some riders don't, or they carry where it can get lost in an emergency. The bike number and helmet number are just backup ids in case of emergency.

(I've never felt uncomfortable putting a temporary sticker on my helmet.)

-mr. bill
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Old 02-18-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Get an old washcloth good and damp, set it over the sticker and let it sit for an hour. You’ll be able to rub it off with your thumb.
OP here. In the end, this what I did. Warm water on a rag and let it sit for about two hours. Then I took the rag off and rubbed the rag over the surface. This took most of what was left off. Then used my fingernail to get the rest off. There is a little residue left but not much. I will work on getting the rest of that off too. Thanks for all of the suggestions that everybody gave.
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Old 02-18-20, 09:55 AM
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I messed up the top of my helmet taking a sticker off from an event last year, I'll never put one on my helmet again. There's a number on the front, that'll have to be good enough.
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Old 02-18-20, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I messed up the top of my helmet taking a sticker off from an event last year, I'll never put one on my helmet again. There's a number on the front, that'll have to be good enough.
This particular event that I did had a number you attached to your handlebars with twisty ties. It also had another number that you attached to your jersey with safety pins. Both were quite large. The sticky numbers were quite smaller made for your helmet. I'll skip the sticky numbers at all future events. Or maybe just attached it to a 3X5 card, punch holes in it, and pin it to my jersey if need be.
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